Sam Gores’ brother Tom Gores and his investment company Crescent Drive Media has taken an ownership stake in Paradigm, the agency’s CEO Sam Gores announced in a letter to employees Thursday, obtained by TheWrap.
The move is a financial step to aid Paradigm in weathering the coronavirus crisis but also to “invest in future growth,” Gores’ letter reads. The Gores have also retained Bruce Rosenblum, a former Warner Bros. executive in the studio’s TV group, as an advisor on the agency’s growth.
“I want to thank everyone for their dedication, hard work and continued focus on serving our clients and agency and helping to position our company for a strong future,” Gores said. “With an expanded ownership team, financial stability and creative advisers like Bruce to help us assess new opportunities, I look forward to our next chapter.”
Rosenblum spent 26 years at Warner Bros. including 14 as president of Warner Bros. Television Group. Following that he was president at Legendary Television and Digital Media between June 2013 through May 2016, and he was then president of Business Operations for Disney and ABC for a year between September 2016 and June 2017. Currently, he’s on the board of Cox Media Group and was also the chairman and CEO of the Television Academy between 2012 and 2016.
Paradigm has been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown, with two-thirds of its revenue coming from music, including the live events and concert tours that have all been postponed or canceled as a result of the virus, including some of the agency’s biggest clients such as Billie Eilish and Kenny Chesney. Because music is a seasonal business with more releases and tours coming in the warmer months of the year, the agency normally borrows money during the winter months and repays the loans with summer tour and release profits.
Back on May 20, Gores denied a report that sports and media mogul Casey Wasserman would buy Paradigm.
“There is no agreement to sell Paradigm, nor is any sale imminent,” Gores wrote in an internal memo to his staff.
But an individual with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap at the time that Wasserman was in talks to buy the agency.
And in March, Gores sparked what insiders described as a ‘f–ing war zone’ within the company when he attempted to stem those losses by cutting music agent salaries by 50% and then reinstated them, as TheWrap exclusively reported at the time. Agents banded together and threatened to leave, while others publicly complained that they felt Gores used Paradigm earnings to fund his lavish personal lifestyle, insiders told TheWrap in April.
“He ended up not cutting people because of negative press on the firings,” an insider told TheWrap at the time. “They effectively held him hostage.”
Gores instead opted for more widely applied pay cuts throughout the company, beginning with his own, which was cut in full.
See Gores’ full announcement letter below.
In an alliance that further strengthens our business, I am pleased to announce that Crescent Drive Media (CDM), an investment vehicle owned by my brother, Tom Gores, has taken an ownership interest in Paradigm. This is one of several important steps that put us in a financial position not only to weather this crisis, but to invest in future growth.
In that context, I am also pleased to announce that the ownership of Paradigm, which includes Tom and me, has retained Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser on growth and investment opportunities. Bruce is an experienced and capable industry veteran. He spent 26 years at Warner Bros., including 14 years as President of Warner Bros. Television Group where he oversaw the entire Warner Bros. portfolio of television businesses, including worldwide production, traditional and digital distribution globally, and broadcasting.
Subsequent to his time at Warner Bros., Bruce was President of Legendary Television and Digital Media from June 2013 through May 2016, and from September 2016 through June 2017 was President, Business Operations for the Disney / ABC Television Group, with direct oversight of advertising sales, global affiliate sales and marketing, digital media, strategy and business development, media operations, engineering and IT, and consumer insights.
He currently serves on the Board of Cox Media Group, which is owned by Apollo Global Management. Bruce also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy from January 2012 through December 2016.
I want to thank everyone for their dedication, hard work and continued focus on serving our clients and agency and helping to position our company for a strong future.
With an expanded ownership team, financial stability and creative advisers like Bruce to help us assess new opportunities, I look forward to our next chapter.